Singapore

CAAS reviews rules after SIA pilot failed alcohol test Down Under

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is reviewing regulations and procedures after a Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot failed an alcohol test before a flight in Australia.

"Operating an aircraft while intoxicated is a serious matter. CAAS is reviewing the regulations and procedures to more strongly deter such behaviour," said Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min.

He was replying to Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC), who had asked if there were cases here in the last 10 years of duty pilots caught consuming alcohol or drugs before their flights.

The SIA pilot, who has been suspended and is being investigated, was caught on Sept 15 during a random check by Australia's civil aviation authority.

Dr Lam was also asked if there were adequate laws to deter such behaviour and whether all airlines operating out of Singapore airports have a sufficiently robust standard operating procedure to do random tests to detect errant pilots.

He noted that while random blood testing is not conducted in Singapore, CAAS has done more than 900 ramp inspections since 2013 and has not detected any signs of pilot intoxication.

Such checks are done while an aircraft is on the ground and typically entails the inspection of the flight crew's documents, their flight preparation and the aircraft itself.

Dr Lam said CAAS records also show there has not been any case of pilots consuming alcohol or drugs before boarding planes in Singapore.

He noted that CAAS requires Singapore carriers to ensure their pilots do not take any alcohol at least eight hours before a flight, wherever they operate in the world.

Ultimately, every pilot is responsible for ensuring he does not operate a flight while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he stressed.

Doing so is an offence under the Air Navigation Order and carries a maximum penalty of $100,000 and a jail term of up to five years.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) asked, in the light of a recent British Airways data breach, if Singapore carriers have enough measures to protect passenger data.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said that after the incident, SIA did precautionary checks and confirmed there were no unauthorised codes on its payment page.

He said all Singapore carriers monitor cyberthreats and test their websites regularly for vulnerabilities and screen for malicious web traffic.

Transport